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What was Ayman al-Zawahiri’s involvement in 9/11?

The US military has confirmed the killing of Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri in a drone strike in Afghanistan on Monday.

¿Quién era Ayman al-Zawahiri, líder de Al Qaeda asesinado por Estados Unidos?
Daily Dawnvia REUTERS

Ayman al-Zawahiri, leader of world terrorist organisation Al-Qaeda, has been killed by a US airstike. He took over the group in 2011 after the death of its previosu leader Osama bin Laden at the hands of US troops in Pakistan. He was also on the FBI Most Wanted terror list.

US President Joe Biden said Zawahiri had “carved a trail of murder and violence against American citizens”.

“Now justice has been delivered and this terrorist leader is no more,” he added.

Biden explained that al-Zawahiri was standing on the balcony of a safehouse when two missiles launched from a drone hit him. No others were killed in the attack.

Before rising to be leader of Al-Qaeda, al-Zawahiri was one of bin Laden’s chief lieutenants and played a major role in the planning of the 11 September attacks in 2001.

What was his role in the 9/11 attacks?

In 1998, bin Laden and al-Zawahiri issued a fatwa, a legal ruling in Sharia law, targeting the US for what they saw as an occupation of Muslim land. Described by bin Laden’s hand-picked biogrpaher as the “real brains” of Al-Qaeda, it remains difficult to pinpoint his exact role in the planning of the strike. Nearly 3,000 people were killed and more than 6,000 injured in the deadliest terror attack in world history.

Biden described him as “deeply involved in the planning” of the September 11 attacks. In the morning of September 12, 2001, al-Zawahiri appeared in a video alongside bin Laden warning the United States and its allies that a “great army is gathering against you” and called upon “the nation of Islam” to do battle against “the Jews, the Christians and the Americans.”

After the attacks, former president George Bush demanded that Afghanistan, then ruled by the Taliban, surrender the head of Al-Qaeda, Osama Bin Laden, who as hiding in the country. When this was declined, the US invaded on 7 October, 2001.


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